Danish car-sharing company Green Mobility is to set up a scheme in Dublin this year with a fleet of 400 electric cars.
Competing with GoCar, owned by Europcar, and Yuko, a car-sharing club owned by Toyota Ireland, the Danish company says that unlike its rivals users don’t have to return cars to designated parking locations. It also offers only fully electric vehicles on its fleet.
According to Anders Wall, the company’s chief international officer: “Within the operational zone – say within the city limits – the cars can be parked anywhere that is legal. You don’t have to return them to a station or designated location like you do with GoCar. Our service is literally door-to-door and not just A to B.
“Our users pay for the time they spend in the car. So when you park the car legally on the street or in certain car parks, we take care of the parking charges. We also don’t charge any fixed fees, membership or sign-up fees. You only pay for the number of minutes you use the car.
“The car is opened and locked through our app on smartphones – Apple or Android. There are no keys in the car so you simply drive to where you need to go. Once you end the trip, you lock it again with the app and the car becomes visible to all the other users. When the charge in a car drops below 10 per cent the cars automatically disappear from the app. We have a team of street agents who take care of charging, cleaning and maintenance of the electric car.”
The company has been in talks with Renault Ireland for the supply of electric cars for the Dublin fleet. The French car company already supplies Green Mobility’s vehicles in Copenhagen and Oslo. However, other non-motoring commercial partners are involved in bringing the company to Dublin.
Mr Wall would not identify who they are talking with to operate the Dublin scheme but said it was quite likely it will not be a car company. “To give you an example, in Oslo we work with NSB, the national state transport company operating trains and buses and now they operate Green Mobility car sharing as well,” he said.
The Dublin scheme will be of a similar scale to its operation in Copenhagen, which employs 35 full-time staff and has been running since 2016.
“Dublin has a similarity with Copenhagen in terms of size and structure. There’s also a public and political interest in this and the electric car-charging network has been built. We believe we can actively reduce the number of private cars in the city. In Copenhagen we have seen that 5 per cent of our users have sold their private cars and switched to our solution.”